HSK Requirements for Chinese Universities: What Level and Score Do You Need?

HSK requirements for universities in China

The number of international students studying in China increases year by year. Are there HSK requirements for Chinese universities? The answer is yes – almost all universities and colleges in China require non-native Chinese students to submit HSK scores as part of the admissions process for their Chinese-taught degree programs. But the exact HSK level and score youll need for admission ultimately depend on which school you are applying to.  

In this article, we explain what good HSK levels and scores for universities are and give you a list of 40 most popular Chinese universities and their minimum HSK level/score requirements. We also teach you how to find minimum HSK requirements for schools in China and how to set an HSK test goal.

Let’s get started!

What Are Good HSK Levels and Scores for Chinese Universities?

First, we’ll explain what HSK level and score are considered good or adequate to attend a degree program in China.

Simply put, any HSK level/score that gets you into the school you wish to attend is good. That is to say, a good HSK level/score can be considered anything equal to or higher than the minimum required HSK level/score for your program. If you’re applying to more than one school, however, a good level/score will be one that can get you into all of your programs, that is, the highest minimum HSK level/score among your programs. (We’ll get to the details in a minute)

As you can probably guess, minimum HSK requirements for Chinese universities can vary widely. Some schools require rather high HSK Level 6 (210/300), whereas others only require HSK Level 5 or HSK Level 4. Generally speaking, the more competitive a school is, the higher minimum HSK level/score it’ll require. (However, not all highly ranked universities in China maintain high HSK requirements for admission.)

So in the end, what HSK level and score will you need to attain? Read on to learn more about the various HSK requirements for universities in China and what they mean for you.

Chinese Universities HSK Requirements

Chinese Universities HSK Requirements

 

In this section, we present to you a list of 40 Chinese universities that are currently popular with international students. All schools have been arranged in the order of CNUR (China Universities Rankings) for your reference, with each including both undergraduate and graduate HSK requirements for admission.

But first, here’re a few things to note:

  • If your degree program is taught in English, then most schools won’t require HSK, however, if English is not your native language, you will need to produce an English proficiency test certificate such as TOEFL or IELTS during your application. Some schools will also waive HSK requirements for applicants who have earned a diploma or degree from a Chinese high school or university (courses must be taught in Chinese), as well as for those who opt to take their college admission exam (Chinese is tested along with other subjects).
  • Not all universities are equally strict about HSK level/score requirements. While failing to meet HSK requirements will result in your instant rejection at most schools (some may even require an HSKK certificate), lower HSK level/score may still qualify you for conditional admission at other schools.
  • HSK level/score requirements often vary by department or major, with some programs requiring higher levels/scores than those required by the overall university.
  • The HSK exam can be taken either on a computer (HSK iBT) or paper (HSK PBT). Universities in China don’t have any preference for the test format. That said, you might want to take the internet-based HSK if your testing center offers this option. (find out why here)

And with that, let’s take a look at the list!

1. Peking University

Undergraduate HSK Requirement Graduate HSK Requirement
HSK 6 (210) HSK 6 (210)

2. Tsinghua University

Undergraduate HSK Requirement Graduate HSK Requirement
HSK 5 (180; each section must be scored over 60 points)
*HSK 4 is also accepted (with each section scored over 60 points), however, applicants must improve to HSK 5 (180; each section must be scored over 60 points) within the first academic year, or they will be removed from the school.
Varies, but usually HSK 5 or higher

3. University of Science and Technology of China

Undergraduate HSK Requirement Graduate HSK Requirement
HSK 5 (180) HSK 4 (180)

4. Nanjing University

Undergraduate HSK Requirement Graduate HSK Requirement
HSK 5 (180)  Liberal arts, business schools: HSK 5 (180);
Science: HSK 4 (180)

5. Fudan University

Undergraduate HSK Requirement Graduate HSK Requirement
HSK 5 (210) or HSK 6 (180)  Liberal arts: HSK 5 (240) or HSK 6 (180);
Science, engineering, medical: HSK 5 (210) or HSK 6 (180)

6. Renmin University of China

Undergraduate HSK Requirement Graduate HSK Requirement
HSK 5 (200) or HSK 6 (180), HSKK Advanced (60)  Master: HSK 5 (200; each section must be scored over 60), HSKK Advanced (60);
Doctorate: HSK 6 (180; each section must be scored over 60), HSKK Advanced (60)

7. Zhejiang University

Undergraduate HSK Requirement Graduate HSK Requirement
HSK 5 (180)
*HSK 4 is also accepted (with each section scored over 60 points), however, applicants must improve to HSK 5 (180) within the first academic year, or they will be removed from the school.
Literature, history, philosophy, education, law: HSK 4 (210) or HSK 5 (180);
Other programs: HSK 4 (190) or HSK 5 (180) 

8. Shanghai Jiao Tong University

Undergraduate HSK Requirement Graduate HSK Requirement
HSK 5 (180) HSK 5 (200; each section must be scored over 60) or HSK 6 (180; each section must be scored over 60)

9. Harbin Institute of Technology

Undergraduate HSK Requirement Graduate HSK Requirement
HSK 4 (210) HSK 4 (210)

10. Xi’an Jiaotong University

Undergraduate HSK Requirement Graduate HSK Requirement
HSK 4 (180) HSK 5 (180)

11. Nankai University

Undergraduate HSK Requirement Graduate HSK Requirement
HSK 4 (180) HSK 4 (180)

12. Wuhan University

Undergraduate HSK Requirement Graduate HSK Requirement
Liberal arts: HSK 5 (180);
Science, engineering, medical: HSK 4 (180);
Chinese language program in School of International Education (freshman): not required
Liberal arts: HSK 5 (180);
Science, engineering, medical (English medium): HSK 4 (180)

13. Sun Yat-sen University

Undergraduate HSK Requirement Graduate HSK Requirement
HSK 5 (180) HSK 5 (180)

14. Southeast University

Undergraduate HSK Requirement Graduate HSK Requirement
HSK 4 (180) Medical, MTCSOL, economics: HSK 5 (180);
Other programs: HSK 4 (180)

15. Xiamen University

Undergraduate HSK Requirement Graduate HSK Requirement
Humanities, economics, management, law: HSK 5 (210);
Science, engineering, medical: HSK 4 (210)
Humanities, economics, management, law, arts, traditional Chinese medicine: HSK 5 (210);
Science, engineering, medical: HSK 4 (210)

16. Tongji University

Undergraduate HSK Requirement Graduate HSK Requirement
Liberal arts, fine Arts: HSK 5 (180);
Architecture, management & economics, medical: HSK 4 (200);
Science, engineering: HSK 4 (180);
Chinese language major (freshman): HSK 3 (180)
Liberal arts, fine Arts: HSK 5 (180);
Architecture, management & economics, medical: HSK 4 (200);
Science, engineering: HSK 4 (180);
International Chinese Education: HSK 5 (210), HSKK Intermediate (60)

17. Huazhong University of Science and Technology

Undergraduate HSK Requirement Graduate HSK Requirement
Chinese literature, history, philosophy: HSK 5 (180);
Science, engineering, medical, economics, management, law, education: HSK 4 (180)
Chinese literature, history, philosophy: HSK 5 (180);
Science, engineering, medical, economics, management, law, education: HSK 4 (180)

18. Beihang University

Undergraduate HSK Requirement Graduate HSK Requirement
HSK 5 (180) HSK 5 (180)

19. Tianjin University

Undergraduate HSK Requirement Graduate HSK Requirement
Liberal arts, business: HSK 5 (180);
Science, engineering: HSK 4 (195)
Liberal arts, business: HSK 5 (180);
Science, engineering: HSK 4 (195)

 

20. Beijing Institute of Technology

Undergraduate HSK Requirement Graduate HSK Requirement
HSK 5 (180) HSK 5 (180)

21. Beijing Normal University

Undergraduate HSK Requirement Graduate HSK Requirement
Chinese language major: HSK 4 (180);
Others: HSK 5 (180; requirements may differ for each major) 
Master:
College of Chinese Language & Culture: HSK 6 (220), HSKK Advanced (65);
School of Chinese Language & Culture: HSK 5 (210);
Other departments: HSK 5 (195)
Doctorate:
College of Chinese Language & Culture: HSK 6 (240), HSKK Advanced (65);
School of Chinese Language & Culture: HSK 5 (210);
Other departments: HSK 5 (195)

22. Dalian University of Technology

Undergraduate HSK Requirement Graduate HSK Requirement
Liberal arts: HSK 5 (180);
Science, engineering, economics: HSK 4 (180)
Liberal arts: HSK 5 (180);
Science, engineering, economics: HSK 4 (180)

23. Northwestern Polytechnical University

Undergraduate HSK Requirement Graduate HSK Requirement
HSK 4 (180) HSK 4 (200), HSKK Intermediate (60)

24. Jiling University

Undergraduate HSK Requirement Graduate HSK Requirement
International affairs, medical: HSK 5 (180);
Other programs: HSK (180) 
International affairs: HSK 5 (180);
Other programs: HSK (180) 

25. Sichuan University

Undergraduate HSK Requirement Graduate HSK Requirement
Liberal arts: HSK 5 (180);
Science, engineering, medical: HSK 4 (180)
Liberal arts: HSK 5 (180);
Science, engineering, medical: HSK 4 (180)

26. Shandong University

Undergraduate HSK Requirement Graduate HSK Requirement
HSK 4 (210) Master: HSK 5 (180);
Doctorate: HSK 6 (180)

27. East China Normal University

Undergraduate HSK Requirement Graduate HSK Requirement
International College of Chinese Studies: HSK 4 (180);
Others: HSK 5 (180)
HSK 5 (210) 

28. South China University of Technology

Undergraduate HSK Requirement Graduate HSK Requirement
Liberal arts, economics, management: HSK 5 (180);
Science, engineering: HSK 4 (180)
Liberal arts, economics, management: HSK 5 (180);
Science, engineering: HSK 4 (180)

29. Central South University

Undergraduate HSK Requirement Graduate HSK Requirement
Medical: HSK 4 (220);
Other programs: HSK 4 (180)
Medical: HSK 4 (220);
Other programs: HSK 4 (180)

30. Northeastern University

Undergraduate HSK Requirement Graduate HSK Requirement
HSK 5 (180) HSK 5 (180)

31. University of International Business and Economics

Undergraduate HSK Requirement Graduate HSK Requirement
HSK 4 (180) HSK 5 (180)

32. Shanghai University of Finance and Economics

Undergraduate HSK Requirement Graduate HSK Requirement
Chinese Language Program (business-oriented): HSK 4 (180);
Other programs: HSK 5 (220)
HSK 5 (180)

33. East China University of Science and Technology

Undergraduate HSK Requirement Graduate HSK Requirement
HSK 4 (180) HSK 4 (180)

34. Ocean University of China

Undergraduate HSK Requirement Graduate HSK Requirement
HSK 4 (180)
*Applicants must pass HSK 5 (180) before graduation, or they won’t get a degree
HSK 4 (180)
*Applicants must pass HSK 5 (180) before graduation, or they won’t get a degree

35. Jinan University

Undergraduate HSK Requirement Graduate HSK Requirement
HSK 5 (180) HSK 5 (180)

36. Donghua University

Undergraduate HSK Requirement Graduate HSK Requirement
HSK 4 (180) HSK 5 (180)

37. Shanghai International Studies University

Undergraduate HSK Requirement Graduate HSK Requirement
HSK 4 (180) HSK 5 (180)

38. Beijing Language and Culture University

Undergraduate HSK Requirement Graduate HSK Requirement
HSK 5 (180)  HSK 5 (180; each section must be scored over 60)

39. Shanghai University

Undergraduate HSK Requirement Graduate HSK Requirement
HSK 5 (180) HSK 5 (180)

40. Huaqiao University

Undergraduate HSK Requirement Graduate HSK Requirement
HSK 5 (180) HSK 5 (180)

Note: The HSK requirements for Chinese universities are subject to change without prior notice. While we at ImproveMandarin.Com aim to keep the published info as accurate as possible (the above list is updated yearly following the information provided on the universities’ official webpages), we suggest you visit their sites to reconfirm and contact the schools directly if necessary before you sign up for an HSK exam.

Required HSK Scores vs Passing Scores

required HSK scores

The HSK test (level 3-6) consists of three sections (listening, reading, and writing), with each scored out of 100 points. To pass the test, you just need to reach the overall passing score: 180. That’s all that matters.

However, if you take the HSK to attend university or graduate school in China, be sure to look up the score requirements for your specific schools, as many of them require applicants to hit or exceed a certain score on the exam for admittance. Some schools may even require applicants to score over 60 on each section of the HSK.

As you can see in our list above, the cutoff score varies from school to school, program to program. When you prepare for the HSK test, always aim for the required score. If you are only able to hit the passing score (180) on the test, you’ll still get the HSK certificate, but you won’t have a shot at admission.

How to Find HSK Requirements for Universities

At present, over 1,000 universities in China accept international students. Before you apply, you must know the HSK requirements for your schools and the type of scores you’ll need to give yourself the best chance of getting accepted. Here, we go over how to find minimum HSK level and score requirements for undergraduate and graduate programs in China.

For Undergraduate Programs

With undergraduate programs, HSK level/score requirements are normally established by the overall university rather than by individual programs, though at some schools, the requirements are maintained higher for liberal arts education than science and engineering.

You can start your Google search by typing in  “[school name] + international admissions”. As you search, look for pages on your school’s official website, especially those revolving around international students, undergraduate programs, admission requirements, application materials.

Almost always, you’ll find references to the HSK test level/score requirements or other Chinese proficiency requirements on these pages. For example, here is a screenshot of Wuhan University’s HSK requirements from their website. Look how clear and easy to understand the information is.

Wuhan University admission requirement

Occasionally, the application requirements may be written in Chinese. In these cases, use Google Translate to access the information. If you’re struggling to find HSK information on their website, contact the school’s admissions office directly to inquire about what HSK level and score they require for international applicants.

For Graduate Programs

The process for finding HSK level/score requirements is essentially the same if you’re applying to a graduate school in China. You just need to look for pages related to graduate education once you’re on your school’s website. Depending on whether you are applying for a master’s or doctoral program, the HSK requirements may differ.  

Some departments may have their own minimum HSK requirements, rather than using the requirements set by the overall university (usually, these requirements will either match or exceed the university’s required minimum).

In these cases, look for your program’s or department’s official webpage. You’ll likely find the HSK level/score information on “Admission Information” or “Application Materials” pages. If your program doesn’t specify the requirements, contact your program or department and ask what HSK level and score they need. After all, you don’t want to study for a test if your program won’t accept it!

Graduate program China

How to Set an HSK Test Goal

As we’ve mentioned, any HSK level/score high enough to get you into the school or program you wish to attend can be considered adequate. But if you are applying to several schools, you should target the highest minimum HSK level/score that can get you into all of your programs.

To set your HSK test goal, begin by making a chart with all of the schools to which you want to apply.

For example, if you are a graduate student looking to attend a business school in China, and you want to apply to Nanjing University, Fudan University, and Xiamen University, here’s how you would fill out your chart after checking the requirement for each of the schools.

School Minimum HSK Requirement
Nanjing University HSK 5 (180)
Fudan University HSK 5 (240) or HSK 6 (180)
Xiamen University HSK 5 (210)

To qualify for all the schools, you need to aim for the highest minimum HSK level/score on the chart, that is, HSK 5 (240), as it pretty much guarantees that your HSK score will be good enough for admission to all the schools. But if you’d like to be an extremely competitive applicant, you can always aim a few points higher than this goal score (applicants who can attain higher scores will likely take precedence over those who are only able to attain the minimum required score).

Recap: HSK Requirements for Chinese Universities

HSK level score requirements

To sum up, good HSK levels and scores for universities or colleges in China are simply those that can get you into the programs you wish to attend. They are essentially the same as the minimum required HSK levels/scores. However, HSK requirements for Chinese universities can vary widely. Some schools require lower HSK levels such as HSK 4, whereas others require applicants to score over 210 points on HSK 6.  

To find the HSK requirements for your specific program, go to your schools’ official websites, and look for pages associated with international students and admission requirements. Many schools maintain different HSK minimums for bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs.

To set an HSK test goal, make a chart with all of the schools that you want to apply to, find each school’s HSK requirements on their website, and then select the highest minimum HSK level/score on your chart to get your goal score, which can almost certainly get you into all of her programs. That said, it’s a good of thumb to aim a few points higher than your goal score to be more competitive at admission.

What’s Next?

So now you know the various HSK level and score requirements to study in a Chinese university, do you also want to find out when, and how to take the HSK exam? We recommend that you read these free resources:

Don’t miss out on our in-depth HSK preparation guide written for each exam level. You’ll learn the tips and tricks to get a high score on your HSK exam in no time!

And finally, ImproveMandarin HSK Channel is a fantastic, free reference resource you should go to for honing your HSK and Chinese skills. If you have any questions or hiccups, we’re right here to help you!